Yohen, parts 1 and 2

Yohen starred veteran Chicago actors Ernest Perry Jr. and Cheryl Hamada.

Yohen is playwright Philip Kan Gotanda’s story of a divorced Japanese woman and an African American GI who meet in post-World War II Japan and fall in love. After decades of struggle, they have found an accepting Los Angeles suburb to call home – but their peaceful world is changing. When the audience comes in to the tale they meet a couple who are learning that they might not know as much about each other as they thought. It’s a story of two partners who discover that intimate relationships change with environments – and love, however time-tested, is never constant.

Yohen became the first fully produced Silk Road production ever to transfer to a new venue. After an eight -week run and closing in Chicago, we packed it up and went to Meilly-Swallow Hall at North Central College in Naperville, IL. There were countless challenges to making such a move. Here’s the list that helped keep us on track for moving day:

The set and furniture were split between a truck provided by NCC and a truck we rented.  The booth equipment went in my car, well-secured in bubble wrap.  We were left with two boxes of very fragile prop pottery made for the show by a local artist and modeled after the traditional pottery of Japan.  In the end we decided that those were best off in the stage manager’s car.

Once we arrived our technical director, Jason, started in on the set with a great deal of success.  As the booth that existed in the theatre did not allow a clear view of all the stage, the stage manager and I got to work setting her up in the back of the balcony on a couple of  folding tables wedged between the seats.  Our actors were champs and made the adjustments to the new location beautifully.  Though our houses for the run ended up being small, we were all pleased with the triumph of the engineering of the move.